Times they are changing

After working for 10 years with the largest Dutch telecommunications operator I am leaving KPN.

I have had an incredible time there. KPN took me in after I finished my PhD. My first job was a research position. Looking at technology, trying to figure out how to make it useful for customers. Speech technology, Intelligent Agents, web applications, we did some wicked things with the technologies.

Then I went over to KPN Mobile where I was part of the team that launched UMTS services in the Netherlands. Not just the technology, but the application of the technology. I did a few incredible pilot projects where UMTS technology helped pilots manouvre large container ships into the harbor of Rotterdam, where engineers could access technology databases on the job, where schoolchildren were reliving Amsterdam in the year of 1550 in an educational history game.

From KPN mobile I switched to the Fixed and Internet division where I was asked to set up community development for KPN. Learning to communicate with customers again, making use of the technology that’s available. Developing new services for specific communities. Creating alternative distribution methods specifically tailored instead of trying to fit everything through the same mass process. Making use of new media, of web and mobile.

I’m leaving a company that allowed me to grow in many ways. I’m leaving behind people that taught me things, colleagues and friends. I had a great time there, but it is time for something new.

I can’t tell you yet what I’ll do next. If you have been reading my blog with any frequency then you know of the things that I get excited about. I love trying to make technology work for the user, instead of making the user work for the technology. I’m fascinated by the user centric web, making the Internet evolve around the user. In my humble opinion the next wave of developments will focus on that (call it web 3.0 if you want, but I like user centric web better). My adventure will be in that area. There are so many possibilities, but I haven’t decided yet what to do. I might start something on my own, or join a roller coaster that is gaining speed fast. And that’s fine, sometimes you just have to go with the flow and see what happens. It will be an exciting time for me.

And for this blog? Well, if it’s ok with you then I’m going to continue just the way I have been doing so far. Writing about new technologies and their effects on human behavior. I am surprised at the number of people that are willing to read my posts (their often a bit lengthy😉 ), take the time to react with a thoughtful comment or another blog post. For some reason the number of people that have subscribed to this blog, the number of daily views have increased in short time from nothing to more than I would have ever imagined. A few days ago that was topped off with a day record for one of my posts, boosting it to the top of Techmeme for a while, and even making it the 14th most popular post on WordPress. It also hit a record of over 50 comments, which is truly great.

Thank you all for that, and I hope that I will be able to live up to the expectations that come along with that.

The story continues……..😉

About vanelsas

See my about page, https://vanelsas.wordpress.com/about/ ;-)
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13 Responses to Times they are changing

  1. Mark Evans says:

    Alex,

    Good luck with the new gig. Looking forward to seeing what’s around the corner for you!

    Mark

  2. Webomatica says:

    Cool. I recently started reading your blog; keep it going!

  3. Laurence says:

    Hey there is nothing wrong with long posts! That’s what I love about your blog… really in depth articles that rarely involve any of the weekly bitchmemes!

    Btw I’m really liking the site theme… its unconventional and took me a little while to get used to it, but now I love it =)

    Keep it up…

  4. Roger Chen says:

    I like reading your posts. It’s a lot of fun and insights.

  5. Esteban says:

    If your new employer can foster 1% of the vision and creativity you’ve shown in this blog they most certainly have got themselves an excellent deal!

    Good luck and looking forward to what you’ll be doing.

  6. Thank you all so much for your kind words! Makes my day a great day🙂

  7. omfut says:

    Alex:
    Wish u all the best for your future endeavors. I’m sure u must be having tones of thoughts and ideas to begin with. I guess its time for you to call the shot rather than working for someone and trying to push your vision. It’s always a hard sell initially. Keep up the great work. Your blog rocks.

    Cheers,
    Omfut

  8. Alex,
    Your insights on social interactions have influenced the way many technologists now think about how to build a user-centric web. The breakthrough will come when someone innovates a social interaction model that convinces the masses to break away from their closed Inboxes – and conduct their everyday communications in a shared interactive environment. Best wishes in your new gig!
    /srini

  9. @omfut @srini Thank you very much. Makes my day🙂

  10. Jim Simmons says:

    Best of luck with your new venture.

    Great to hear you will be keeping up with your blog. It’s one of my most favorite!

  11. Best of luck to you Alexander!

    Big step leaving the comfort of a big company and (I suspect) moving into something a little more risky.

  12. @Jim thanks, I’ll keep on trying to deliver😉

    @Jordan, you know all about that I assume, running your own company. And yes, it will be a bit more risky, but hey, that’s the fun of it🙂

  13. Pingback: Times have changed, I’ve joined Glubble « Alexander van Elsas’s Weblog on new media & technologies and their effect on social behavior

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